Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!


SBCA: Free education for HOAs and condos on satellite placement issues.
(National Trade Organization)
Helping HOAs, condos and property managers with satellite placement issues since 1986.
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: Have you sued your HOA to get Documents?
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
LisaS
(Illinois)

Posts:341


08/28/2007 10:39 AM  
I haven't been to the forum in a while, but now find myself in need of assistance.

To make a long story short, I am a former VP on our HOA Board of Directors. Because I care, I try to keep up with what is gong on regarding financials, approvals, etc. in our association. Apparently, the Board has decided that they don't want to answer my questions (like why they paid our HOA landcsaper to maintain a private homeowners lot in violation of our CCR's and the like)

Consequently, they have stopped acknowledging any emails being sent to them by me, as well as the follow up postal mail I was forced to send to ensure that my questions were received.

I am well versed in the law for our state (illinois), and our covenants. I have sent a "formal" request via certified mail to our registered agent (a Board member as we have no management company) in order to obtain meeting minutes and financials dating back to March. I expect that they will ignore this as well.

Has anyone pursued court action to obtain documents from their association, and how does it work? I believe that in Illinois i will likely get me attorney fees returned when I win, but what if I file and then they send them to me before court? Am I out the money? How pricey is it, and how lengthy a process?

Thanks for any help.

PaulM
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:1347


08/28/2007 2:45 PM  
LisaS:
I have never heard of anyone in an HOA going to the extreme of a law suit to obtain HOA community documents.

Refer to your official documents (Bylaws) whereby it should state that financial reports (and minutes of community meetings?) must be made available to residents, either by mail or in person at the office of record, and with an appropriate appointment for the resident's review. There can also be a charge for copies of these as well.

Once you can cite the actual page and paragraph of the Bylaws which detail residents' rights to information with the process for reviewing, compose and mail another request letter with separate copies to all Board members. Since you are "well versed in the laws for our state (Illinois) and our covenants.." note the state law as well in your request.

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7663


08/28/2007 3:11 PM  
I am not sure what information you will gain from these records once you get them. How's it going to help you any? Maybe your seeing the forrest for the trees in this area? Sorry to say. It's not worth pursuing the records in court unless there's a real purpose and basis of proof of wrongdoing. If there is wrongdoing, then file a suit over that. They have to turn over records then.

In regards to your issue in parenthesis. You seem upset over the landscaper taking care of a homeowner who's in violation of the CC&R's. I can tell you that there could be 2 different scenerios there that aren't illegal or wrong.

The first scenerio: In our HOA, the HOA is responsible for lawncare. They must mow everyone's yard no matter what. So if someone is behind in their dues, we can't deny them lawncare services. We don't do anything "extra" for them but we do still maintain their yard. It's considered "Common property" and the yards are connected together. Miss one yard, and it effects the whole neighborhood. HOA's are responsible for maintaining "Uniformity" above all else. So your HOA may be in a similar situation. If they don't maintain this lot the same as the others, then it can distract in asthetic values of all the homes.

The second scenerio: The HOA has a right to correct CC&R/By-law violations themselves and send the owner the bill. If that owner refuses that bill, the HOA can lien the owner for that amount. The HOA could in this case be doing that. They could have paid their lawncare provider to fix the violation and send the owner the bill. You don't know that from seeing the work being done.

Remember, suing your HOA is suing yourself and your neighbors. You have every right to see that documentation. However, I would pinpoint down toward the areas your most concerned about rather than ALL the documents. That's ALOT of time and expense down the drain. My rule of thumb is: until it effects me personally, I am not going to pursue issues with my HOA.

Former HOA President
JonD1


Posts:0


08/28/2007 7:03 PM  
Lisa:

What were the circumstances of your leaving the Board?

As a former VP was it YOUR decision to leave the Board?


JaneK
(California)

Posts:175


08/28/2007 10:57 PM  
I think you all missed her point. Lisa states that she is familar with the governing docs and the Atate law. What they are doing is illegal and against the governing documents. My suggestion would be to have an attorney simply write a formal letter to the board telling them to comply with law and governing docs or face a suit. Hopefully that won't cost too terribly much and they will probalby cave in before you have to actually file a suit. It's till going to cost you for the letter, but hopefully you will not have to go any further.

As far as the process, I admit little knowledge of that. They have usually caved in before it got very far. At least in my Assn. I know it can take months, years, depending and cost five figures + easy.

I'm not familar with Ill. law.

In CA not turning over documents can go to the State Attorney General, so I don't have any probs getting documents.

Hope this helps
Jane
JaneK
(California)

Posts:175


08/28/2007 10:57 PM  
I think you all missed her point. Lisa states that she is familar with the governing docs and the Atate law. What they are doing is illegal and against the governing documents. My suggestion would be to have an attorney simply write a formal letter to the board telling them to comply with law and governing docs or face a suit. Hopefully that won't cost too terribly much and they will probalby cave in before you have to actually file a suit. It's till going to cost you for the letter, but hopefully you will not have to go any further.

As far as the process, I admit little knowledge of that. They have usually caved in before it got very far. At least in my Assn. I know it can take months, years, depending and cost five figures + easy.

I'm not familar with Ill. law.

In CA not turning over documents can go to the State Attorney General, so I don't have any probs getting documents.

Hope this helps
Jane
Jadedone4
(Virginia)

Posts:495


08/29/2007 5:09 AM  
Lisa,

Does IL, have "open meeting" laws? Are there requirements in either your State or local code/laws which require disclosure to members of the community? Does your community's by-laws speak to proper procedures for members to request information and the requirements of the board to comply?

If you started with the above and were ignored by the board, then send one final request to them registered mail with return receipt. After that saddle up with neighbors and ask that they also make similar requests from the board (sent via certified mail). Then be prepared to attend the next board meeting and have this issue addressed then.

If that fails, contact your local/municipal office/agency which oversees community managed associations. If you do not have on for your jurisdiciton, then contact your AG's office, and find out of there are administrative procedures for you activate towards getting the board to comply.

Make a decision then if you want to return to the board (as a director), and me with the community (petition) to see/gauge what support you have towards making changes in the elected board. While it may seem a lot to ask, if the things have occurred that you have posted, it would seem to me, that your neighbors would want to have those issues addressed, and would be inspired to act (not saying that they light up the torches and head to the castle, just that they would get involved in some manner; i.e. petition, attending next meeting, recalls, etc).

Your problems did not start overnight, and they will not be solved overnight. As a former VP you know that process that are required for all community's to follow in a managed association. And you should know all too well what specific challenges your particular community faces with that regard.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


08/29/2007 8:19 AM  
Lisa, have you checked your controlling documents and state statutes? At the least, if you are incorporated, that there is a requirement that corporation records must be made available to the members. If you find any such requirement then provide it to the Board with your request to review.

It seems ridiculus to me that any Board would not full fill your request unless it relates to a current legal action. Prior to considering suing I would wage a campaign to remove such poor Board members.
TracyT
(Maryland)

Posts:228


08/29/2007 8:26 AM  
Hi Lisa,

There was a post about requesting documents on the forum sometime ago. See "Subject: FL- ? about looking at Association records". I don't remember seeing an outcome.

I'm all for the community support approach. I hope it works better for you than it did for me. Good luck.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


08/29/2007 8:50 AM  
Lisa, use the legal approach without using an attorney. Quote the legal requirement and if that doesn't educate your Board sufficiently then add the fact they can be personally liable for wrongdoing after they have been made aware. Tracy stated "I'm all for the community support approach. I hope it works better for you than it did for me." Community support only works when trying to recall Board members.
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


08/29/2007 12:50 PM  
I think she has said that she has done all that, with the last move being the certified letter.

Also, "If there is wrongdoing, then file a suit over that. They have to turn over records then. "

I don't know how you could determine wrongdoing without having the documents to review and analyze to begin with.

Plus, I don't think she said that the landscaping company did the yard of a homeowner that was in violation, I think she what she indicated was that the landscaping company doing a homeowner's lot IS the violation. It's a violation for homeowners to have their lots done by the landscaping company.

If I'm wrong, Lisa, please correct me.

I think the very next step after the certified letter should probably be a letter from an attorney requesting the documents on your behalf, as someone suggested.

I think they are just bluffing or holding out and are convinced that you won't go through the trouble of "getting legal" on them.

Once they see that you are not afraid to get an attorney involved, and if the attorney can gently mention in his request letter that if the board still refuses and Ms. LisaS has to go to court to compel compliance, that the HOA would then be responsible for paying his fees as well as any of Ms. LisaS's court costs.

That may be a lower-out-of-pocket way to go.

It's my guess that Lisa suspects there might have been some redirection of either funds or assets in some way, OR even a quid pro quo somewhere and only by analyzing the materials she asked for would she be able to ascertain if there is bigger issues at hand than just a landscaper doing a homeowner's yard.

Good luck.

RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


08/29/2007 1:32 PM  
Posted By MicheleD on 08/29/2007 12:50 PM
I think she has said that she has done all that, with the last move being the certified letter.

Also, "If there is wrongdoing, then file a suit over that. They have to turn over records then. "

I don't know how you could determine wrongdoing without having the documents to review and analyze to begin with. .....


Michele,
It is my understanding that Lisa is not aware of the laws requiring access to view her association's records. Is so she has not "done all that". So the next step is to make the Board aware of their rules and/or state statute requirements. After that those Board members refusing to provide access may be held liable for knowingly refuses to provide access to view the records. This is the wrongdoing.

The suspected wrongdoing related to landscaping could not be evaluated until the records are reviewed. However,any homeowner of an individual lot can hire the same landscaper as is used by their HOA. That is often done and is acceptable.
DaneC
(California)

Posts:210


08/29/2007 2:28 PM  
Posted By PaulM on 08/28/2007 2:45 PM
LisaS:
I have never heard of anyone in an HOA going to the extreme of a law suit to obtain HOA community documents.




Moran v. Oso Valley Greenbelt Assn. (2001) , Cal.App.4th
[No. G025371. Fourth Dist., Div. Three. Sept. 6, 2001.]

http://login.findlaw.com/scripts/callaw?dest=ca/caapp4th/slip/2001/g025371.html

A homeowner has been awarded $58,485.24 in attorney fees against her homeowner association for failing to produce the minutes of the board of directors.

The plaintiff, Angele Moran, sent a letter to her homeowner association, Oso Valley Greenbelt Assn. in October 1998 to review the minutes. By December, the minutes had not been turned over, but the management company for the homeowner association, CC&R Management, was demanding $200 in search time and 25 cents a page. The homeowner association claimed that Moran wanted minutes that in some cases dated back over 10 years. The homeowner association claimed that they were "scattered throughout approximately 140 storage boxes" and "not in any particular order". The management company charged $25 an hour to search.

Moran said that the homeowner association had no right to charge the $200. She was willing to pay the $35.50 in copying charges.

The trial court ruled that the homeowner association wrongly withheld the minutes, but ordered no attorney fees without explaining its reasons. Moran appealed the denial of attorney fees, and the California Appellate Court, Fourth District, Division Three, Case No. G031179, reversed the trial court and ordered it to articulate its reasons.

The trial court then awarded $58,485.24 in attorney fees to Moran.

The homeowner association then appealed this decision to the same appellate court. The latter upheld the trial court ruling in an unpublished opinion.

One of the ironies of the case is that Moran was a paralegal in the CAI law firm of Neuland, Nordberg and Andrews. CAI has insisted in including in AB 2718 (a bill by Assemblyman John Laird) that "reasonable" fees may be charged by management companies in searching for and copying homeowner association reserve study documents. Homeowners have strongly protested this provision of the bill.

Moran v. Oso Valley Greenbelt Assn. (2001) , Cal.App.4th
[No. G025371. Fourth Dist., Div. Three. Sept. 6, 2001.]

http://login.findlaw.com/scripts/callaw?dest=ca/caapp4th/slip/2001/g025371.html


NancyD1
(Florida)

Posts:447


08/29/2007 7:58 PM  
Lisa, if sent a certified letter to the BOD and explained your rights to the doc's requested, that is all you can do with the BOD. If they refuse the request: Before you institute any legal action, do you know who the attorney of record is for the HOA? The attorney can be last one whom the BOD consulted with. Call his/her office, and tell him the situation. State that you are a member of --HOA. Tell him the papers you requested and they are refusing to give them to you under the law of ILL. I am sure you will get the papers or a reply shortly after. The attorney knows this is a clear violation of the state statute.
JoeW1
(New York)

Posts:728


08/30/2007 10:02 AM  
NancyD1 - IMO, contacting the attorney is a no no. The attorney should not deal directly nor respond to individual homeowners, the association is the client and the Board are elected officials that represent the association, the attorney is contractually obligated to speak to the Board.
NancyD1
(Florida)

Posts:447


08/30/2007 2:17 PM  
Joe, the attorney will not even accept the call. If she leaves a detailed message with the secretary, the attorney will most likely call the BOD.
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


08/30/2007 6:38 PM  
Posted By RogerB on 08/29/2007 1:32 PM
Posted By MicheleD on 08/29/2007 12:50 PM
I think she has said that she has done all that, with the last move being the certified letter.

Also, "If there is wrongdoing, then file a suit over that. They have to turn over records then. "

I don't know how you could determine wrongdoing without having the documents to review and analyze to begin with. .....


Michele,
It is my understanding that Lisa is not aware of the laws requiring access to view her association's records. Is so she has not "done all that". So the next step is to make the Board aware of their rules and/or state statute requirements. After that those Board members refusing to provide access may be held liable for knowingly refuses to provide access to view the records. This is the wrongdoing.

The suspected wrongdoing related to landscaping could not be evaluated until the records are reviewed. However,any homeowner of an individual lot can hire the same landscaper as is used by their HOA. That is often done and is acceptable.





RogerB, sorry then if I misunderstood this from her original post:

" I am well versed in the law for our state (illinois), and our covenants. I have sent a "formal" request via certified mail to our registered agent (a Board member as we have no management company) in order to obtain meeting minutes and financials dating back to March. I expect that they will ignore this as well. "


It is from that statement that I had presumed she had already "done all that."

PatriciaS
(Florida)

Posts:12


08/31/2007 9:52 PM  
If you request anything from the Board of Directors in writing; they need to reply within 10 days. If on the11th day you do not get what you requested. send it again with a 10 letter. The you take them to small claim court. hey need to pay you $50 a da up t 10 days. I believe it is out of their own pockets. Then tend to rake you seriously once you do that. Good luck--they all need a watchful eye

Patricia S
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7663


09/01/2007 6:17 AM  
"I believe it's out of their own pockets"? Who's pockets? The HOA's? Who funds those pockets? The members? Mmmm. Maybe not a good idea to go to court if you can avoid it? The HOA MUST hire a lawyer to represent themselves in court (in most situations). They get those funds for the lawyer from the dues money the members pay. So your $50 lawsuit will also be coming out of your dues money in order for the HOA to defend itself against that suit.

My advice is still, instead of pursuing the "view the entire records of the HOA because you suspect wrongdoing" limit that to the area that you are most upset about. Then if you have a "case" that deserves a lawsuit over, go ahead and file the lawsuit. There's the process of "Discovery" Both sides have to go through. Which means the records on BOTH sides has to be turned over to each side for review to have the proper defense and equal knowledge. So you get your records you want after all on the very subject your upset about. Otherwise, you just causing more issues to pop-up and confusing the overall issue with all the records request. Deal with the issue you want to deal with and leave the rest alone until they become and issue to YOU personally. Don't go defending OTHER people's rights, because they may NOT want them defended. You will find out your really only defending your own opinion in the end.

Former HOA President
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


09/01/2007 12:57 PM  
hmmm. "Suing your HOA is suing yourself."

Gosh, I hear that so much, and I still don't understand the point. Obviously one wouldn't just jump on a frivolous lawsuit band wagon, but sometimes you have to do what it takes.

Suing your spouse for divorce is suing yourself, too, since your funds and your spouse's are from the same pool, pretty much out of each other's pockets, until you are legally separated and the marriage dissolved.

Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.


MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7663


09/01/2007 5:04 PM  
My point about the "Suing your HOA your suing yourself and your neighbors" is that there are OTHER options available in the documents besides lawsuits. Once you start a lawsuit in your HOA, it starts a vicious cycle that doesn't seem to stop. It just makes EVERYONE have to pay, even those that aren't part of the issue.

You have to understand that the documents of the HOA provide other avenues to pursue changes in your HOA besides using lawsuits. They aren't EASY options but they do exist. The HOA whole entire basis of operation is based on the theory of "Majority rules". That translates into that if you get a majority of homeowners votes, you can CHANGE the rules of the HOA and/or remove a BOD members. The power of majority vote is strong and is useful tool. It's also the ONLY way I would recommend ANYONE bring a lawsuit against their HOA. That's in numbers and NOT as an individual.

People tend to think the ONLY way to get the BOD's attention is to threaten lawsuits. If a majority of homeowners think it's ridicolous that they are getting fined for painting their house "Blue" because the by-laws/CC&R's restrict that color. Guess what they can do? Get together and call for a Special meeting to address that issue. Then the MAJORITY of GENERAL members can vote to ammend/change the By-law/CC&R's rule that "Blue" is an allowable color. The rules of the HOA are based on what the MAJORITY of homeowners want. It's just that only a few people actually participate in their HOA to enforce those rules.

I think once people understand the true power they have as a member in "good" standing, the better they will be when dealing with their HOA. Understand that suing is the LAST option to do in a HOA. The ripple effects of just one person can wreak havoc in the HOA for years. What if the member wins a $50K lawsuit against their HOA? The HOA ONLY has $10K in their bank account. If there are ONLY 10 members in the HOA, each one will have to kick in the extra $40K + to cover it. Are you going to encourage someone in your HOA to sue then when you have to fork over the special assessment fee of $4- $6K? Especially, for a lawsuit that you don't agree with.

Former HOA President
JaneK
(California)

Posts:175


09/01/2007 6:21 PM  
Melissa,
Clearly you have never had to deal with a board of directors that refuses to obey the law. Often it is the only way to “get the BOD's attention.” The “other options” you mention are likely to be ignored/discredited by an out-of-control board. These boards AND management companies do exist and unfortunately, often there is no choice except to sue. I do agree it is the LAST option. But, as MicheleD said, “Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.”

There is something very, very wrong with a system when your only remedy is to “sue yourself.”
Jane
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


09/02/2007 7:38 AM  
All very interesting.
Certainly a warning sign of many things to come. They country is presently, as a whole, going more and more to HOA's and Condo's as a way of life. The developers, bankers, mortgage companies, etc can see this as a way to make big bucks, and the homeowners are left with prediciments like this thread. There is no one solid answer. It depends on State for one thing. If the states don't make uniform enforcement laws, the cost of "suing the board is suing yourself" theroy is going top be a drop in the bucket as compared to all the problems of masses of people living in an unprotected and unregulated government (Hoa's and Condos). Apathy is king now in associations uncared for by compeentent people. It slips off the keyboard easy to write suggestions like, "go to your States Attorneys Office", and this is good advice, as is most of the postings here. But, the Blue Elephant in the room is all these problems are getting worse and more complicated and who will guide the ship when you don't have a captain and willing crew. A huge problem. I will tell you what our States Attorneys Office verbally relayed to me. Will not give me a written confirmation. "The Attorney Generals Office of the State of Suth Carolina considers the governance of HOA's, condos and like associations to be a private matter and I will not receive any support from his office dealing with these matters. Your request to determine if "Open meetings' of regular board meetings come under state authority will not be addressed by this office."

We all can see these problems and experience the morass you have to wade through. Grant me this this little tale. My 3 year old grandson was sitting on the pot one day, and I asked him if he was finished. Without hesitation he replied, "More Whoeee coming Pappy."
He was right.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7663


09/02/2007 10:46 AM  
Here's a big reveal: I DID attempt to sue my HOA BOD for NOT playing by the rules once. I hired the attorney, paid the retainer fee, and had him draft a letter/attend a meeting. The new BOD that had replaced me (Which I was still on technically) didn't understand a thing about running a HOA. They decided to do a "One-time" special assessment of $125 to cover a pool repair cost without getting a majority vote of the membership. This didn't sit too well with the members that KNEW what the rules were. So I got them together and hired an attorney to represent us 13 or so members who knew the rules. It ultimately taught the board a lesson and they did abide by the rules after one letter.

Unfornately, all but ONE of the members I was representing PAID me back for my legal costs. Which were about $1500. The good news is that it was considered a tax deduction since it involved my investment property. The bad news was that I was taught a BIG lesson. You can't represent anyone but yourself. You may have supporters to your face, but not when it comes to having your back. I hear you wanting to force the BOD into following the rules, but you have to realize that's ONLY at "face value" until you yourself follow the rules to make that happen. You can't come in wearing a "fire suit" screaming "Fire" and then run out with everyone and wonder why no one put out the fire. It takes one to make a change. Especially one willing to wear the fire suit and put out the flames.

Follow up on our BOD. They were EXTREMELY upset with me when I got the attorney as you can imagine. One of the board members actually physically chased me out of the meeting and attacked me! They later complied with my attorney's letter and did the assessment properly. (However, it was later revealed they had lied to each member on what the assessment truly was. Each getting a different story to fit their needs.) Almost a year later, I got a phone call from the President. It was an apology for the most part. Turns out, my "lawsuit" did teach them a lesson after all. It just took them some time to figure things out. Once they did. Things did start following the rules. It just takes about a year for a BOD to figure out what they are doing. It's NOT an easy job to do and it's got a HUGE learning curve. You ahould run for your BOD and see for yourself!

Robert, I understand your frustrations. However, your looking at the wrong place for answers. The answer is NOT outside an HOA, it is INSIDE!!! That's what the Attorney General's office is trying to tell you. If you want something resolved in a HOA, it's got to be done by you and your neighbors. Hence, why it is called a "Homeowner's Association". You say your not a board member but you know what they do. I have to say, it is different when doing the job than know HOW they should do their job. I wish you would run for a BOD position. You have the education and knowledge needed, you just have to see how practicing it is. It's YOU and YOUR neighbors making up the rules that you and your neighbors want to follow. No one else can govern that except you and your neighbors. The HOA government is YOUR government. It's all your money and your neighbors, you just vote for representative out of your group to best represent how that money should be spent.

Geesh, ya are making me sound like a die-hard HOA supporter here! Stop it!!! Please!!! I don't even live in a HOA anymore!!! Although I do miss my yard being mowed! !

Former HOA President
GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5491


09/02/2007 3:10 PM  
Melissa: IMO in this case the BOD individually would be the ones up the creek without the proverbial paddle if a suit were brought. If they knowingly and deliberately violated the CC&R's and state law in regards to providing the requested information after Lisa properly requested it; THEY individually not the Association would be liable. The corporate shield and D&O insurance probably will not protect them and the insurance may not even defend them if it is apparent that they deliberately violated the law. (See the boys from Enron, Worldcomm, Adelphia et al.) Yes I know that they are unpaid volunteers (Been one myself for many years) but that does not excuse them from following the law. Ignorance of the law is not a defense, especially if Lisa quotes them chapter and verse of what they are required to provide.

Lisa: While most states Attorney General will not get involved in HOA matters, by not providing the documents you have requested the BOD may be in violation of Illinois' corporation law and they may have an Ombudsman that oversees that. As far as your question of attorney fee's goes it would depend on the attorney; if you call your county Bar Association they will give you the names of several attorneys in your area. Give them a call and they will give you the price to write the BOD a letter, probably in the $100-150 range. But before I do that I would go to a BOD meeting and ask them in public what they are hiding.

Another route you may take as long as it doesn't violate your CC&R's is to print up flyers of what you think the BOD is up to and how they have not responded to your legitimate requests for information and ask the question "What are they hiding?" You can get them printed at a copy shop for not too much money and pay local kids to deliver them. Or you can contact your local newspaper or TV investigative reporter and see if they will look into it.

Studies show that 5 out of 4 people have problems with fractions
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7663


09/02/2007 8:50 PM  
GlenL, you may want to rethink the contacting the media angle here. You don't need to bring unwanted attention to an internal problem. Bringing HOA's issue to the Public light is NOT a good idea. Remember, the purpose of a HOA is to maintain property values and promote good resale values. Having the issue broadcasted could put home resale values at risk including your own.

Who's going to want to buy in a community that was featured on the late night news? How many people have gone on an bought in a those HOA's that were featured on CNN or other national news programs? Media coverage brings a bad name onto HOA's. I know when I am going to sell my home, it's going to be all "puppies and sunshine", NOT a CNN truck parked outside broadcasting images of my protest in my front yard over records turnover from my HOA.

Yes, it's your right to review HOA's records. However, the actual reality of viewing those records isn't as easy as you may think. Requesting copies is nearly impossible to produce. The best option is to arrange a time to meet with the party that has the records and go through them. If you want copies of specific documents then expect to pay for those copies. You also can't expect the records to be in order or not damaged in some way.

My experience with our own records is that over the years MANY people were responsible for them. They spent time in either someone's garage, attic, or the clubhouse closet. Part of the records were at the Bookkeeper's office and the others were located at a board members home. It took me months to track them down myself. I had the extreme displeasure of having to search through 20 years of records to find a contract with a landscaper. It took about 2 days. This was JUST for ONE issue.

I say if you request any records of your HOA, be reasonable and specific. Know the area that you have an issue with and request information in that area. You don't need to know about the history of the pool if your issue is with the lawncare. Honestly, you already know the what your issue is with the HOA. Producing records may not help much. You may be better off in requesting a third party audit of the records if you want. However, audit's will ONLY tell you where the issues may lie, they will NOT fix the problems. That's still up to the members to fix the issues.

Former HOA President
GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5491


09/02/2007 11:08 PM  
Melissa: First and foremost a HOA is a business and must be run as one, volunteer BOD or not. You can bet if the IRS comes knocking they're not going to accept an excuse of we don't know what box it's in; they give you 30 days to produce the documents. And while Lisa might be asking for some obscure document all Board minutes should be in one or more binders called the corporate record book. The financials should also be together filed monthly.

In our case the current and last two years are with the MC, everything else is locked up in file cabinets on property. Our HOA passes out financials at each meeting to the HO's that attend and if I want a copy of the Board minutes all I have to do is send an email to the MC and I have it usually in a day by return email.

While our state allows the MC to charge for records if they print them out in the digital age it's just as easy to have them emailed at no charge and print them out myself. While Lisa didn't specify how long the BOD had been ignoring her and there may be a good reason why they have not answered her i.e. the one who has the records is on vacation. At the very least she deserves a note explaining why there is a delay in responding.

You may have noticed that the media was my last suggestion and the reason is you don't want to air your dirty laundry but sometimes you have to. I lived in an apt building that was destroyed by a fire started from heat lightning and the landlord's representative was making excuses as to why it would take a while to get the deposit money back. I called the local TV "troubleshooter" who called them to ask why and I had a check the next day.

P.S. The story never ran on TV just the idea that they were looking into it was enough to get the job done.

Studies show that 5 out of 4 people have problems with fractions
LisaS
(Illinois)

Posts:341


09/03/2007 8:36 AM  
Wow! It seems this questions brings a whole lot of controversy.

To answer some questions:
1.Yes, I have sent the Board a certified letter requesting dosumenst and citing the state law and CCR including copies of same
2. No, the Board will not give them to me.
3. Our HOA maintains only 1 large common area (we are single family homes). They are specifically prohibted in our CCR's from paying to mainatin a private lot
4. Further, they have no authority per our CCR's to trespass on a private lot and maintain it. They may only fine the owner for non-maintanence
5. Our municipality has the authority to mow the lawn at that property and charge the owner. Our Board did not even pursue that option.
6. We have had 1 open meeting this year (january). No one has a clue what this Board is doing as no minutes are available either.
7. Our CCR's have no method for removing a Board member(s).
8. Our state has no governing authority for HOA's.

My purpose for requesting the documents is that no one knows what is going on with this Board- from the financials I have seen, I know that funds are 'missing'. Money for dues is either not being collected, or being diverted. Our members are paying for private landscaping at a lot behind one Board members home! Checks are being issues to Board members families, with no apparent documentation for the expense. Our Not for Profit HOA paid $300 in taxes this year (although we should have paid $0) due to incompetence. The list goes on.

I did run for office last year after 2 years on the Board. Basically, it all came down to to non-deeded voters and fraudelent proxies as to why I lost by one vote. The 'winner' refused to participate in a run off election, and I let it go rather than cost our association a whole lot of money in attorney fees. Yes, I was angry. But this is not about that.

The previous Board was run according to the CCR's and the law. This Board appears to have no regard or knowledge of either. Anyone who knows the laws knows the liability for EVERY homeowner in our HOA under these circumstances.

Most people in our sleepy little HOA have no idea what goes on, and simply pays their dues each year. I am a Realtor, and I see where this is taking our community in one short year. I care, so I am involved.

Thanks for all the repsonses!
LisaS
(Illinois)

Posts:341


09/03/2007 8:37 AM  
Also forgot to mention...our Board is volunteer with no management company AND no attorney.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7663


09/03/2007 9:11 PM  
A HOA does NOT need an attorney. An attorney is ONLY needed when a HOA has to appear in court. It's a convenience to have an attorney but NOT a necessity. I only hired the attorney to handle things such as liens, foreclosures, or to update/change the CC&R's/By-laws. Otherwise, I handled the issues myself.

Our HOA also did NOT have a MC. We had a bookkeeper. They were responsible for collecting the dues and making out checks. We had a 2 signature requirement to cash checks so they had to sign and either myself or an assigned board member had to sign to cash any checks. It provided a checks and balances. The bookkeeper also provided us with a financial report of expenditures and collections. The collection report was the ONLY document kept amongst the Board members and NOT discussed openly. We paid the bookkeeper about $250 a month plus any additional expenses such as stamps, checks, or letterheads. So it is possible to run a HOA without a MC. Who is a paid contractor of the HOA.

You mentioned paying a $300 tax bill to the IRS. Just because your a Non-Profit doesn't make you exempt to paying taxes. A Non-profit means that whatever money the HOA collects through dues a year MUST be spent on the maintenance and operation of the HOA in that year. Whatever comes in has to be paid out equally. You can have a reserves fund to a certain amount. If there is money left in the HOA funds at the end of the year, it can be subject to IRS taxes. So the $300 could be a result of this. It's very hard to manage the HOA budget since it doesn't operate like your home budget. At home, you don't need to spend what you make by the end of the year.

I think being a board member will be a good thing for you to do one day. It is a different view on expenditures than you have now. What often makes sense to you, doesn't work in a HOA when it comes to budgeting. If you have board members spending money like it's their "home budget" your going to run into issues. The BIGGEST piece of advice I ever got when I ran my HOA is that the money in the HOA bank is NOT my money but EVERYONE's money. It's HARD to lose that control when your in charge of the HOA's budget, but you have to realize you have to open the checkbook to everyone. I am sure if someone came up to you and asked you to open your checkbook, you wouldn't do it. That's private and personal to you. In a HOA, if someone comes up and asks for the financials, it's pretty much saying "Open the checkbook and let me take a look. I promise to question and criticize each line because I am owed that. Please justify everything NOW or I will vote you out and expose everything". Now you wonder why a HOA BOD is a little hesitant to open up the financials for review so easily?

Former HOA President
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


09/04/2007 7:47 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 09/03/2007 9:11 PM
....
You mentioned paying a $300 tax bill to the IRS. Just because your a Non-Profit doesn't make you exempt to paying taxes. A Non-profit means that whatever money the HOA collects through dues a year MUST be spent on the maintenance and operation of the HOA in that year. Whatever comes in has to be paid out equally. You can have a reserves fund to a certain amount. If there is money left in the HOA funds at the end of the year, it can be subject to IRS taxes. So the $300 could be a result of this. It's very hard to manage the HOA budget since it doesn't operate like your home budget. At home, you don't need to spend what you make by the end of the year.


Melissa, based on IRS form 1120-H this information in not correct. Apparently you are not familiar with IRS regulations for HOAs. Please quit posting these erroneous tax related statements. For example the money from assessments does not have to be spent on the maintenance and operation of the HOA in that year. Whatever comes in has to be does not have to be paid out equally. Taxes are due, not on assessments but, on income from outside sources such as interest on investments. The HOA does't need to spend by the end of the year; and if they don't they would seldom, if ever, owe any taxes on that income.

I have advised you on this several times, yet you continue to post this erroneous information. Why?
BradP
(Kansas)

Posts:2640


09/04/2007 7:53 AM  
Lisa:

In your situation this is what I would do. I would send each board member a copy of the statutes and laws that permit members to request and view minues, etc. along with penalties for not doing so, via certified mail. I would then inform them that you are willing to pay costs established by your state for copying these records.

See if you get a response, if you don't then you have to weigh several options, do you send them another letter threatening a lawsuit pointing out that if they knowingly violate their duty they are personally liable, do you call the media in, or do you contact a lawyer and proceed.

I would suggest trying to get your neighbors to join the crusade, they may be viewing you as a squeaky trouble maker, but if more and more people come forward it may help.

I would discount Melissa's notion not to sue. Their is a time and place for everything, if you feel strongly about it don't be discouraged because you have an obvious easy case to win. As someone said D&O insurance probably won't defend them. I don't like court because there should be simpler ways to get things done, but I think sometimes it is a necessary evil in life.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


09/04/2007 8:33 AM  
Lisa,
Just a shot in the dark here. I noticed in one of your posts you mentioned that the municipality has the authority to come into your HOA and mow grass on unsightly property. Have you investigated what control your city has over your HOA. I could be that the city laws might be used to get the information you are requesting.

If your board elects to stonewall you, they have all the chips to play the game. Community pressure will lossen them up if they feel too much heat.
Sometimes you can crack the board with the help of a single board member.
If conditions exist as you imagine and there is a concerted effort to do mischief, they also have to be in this for the long run. You absolutely need some support, call a town hall meeting, distribute flyers to get attendence. Invite the Board. Your organizational skills will be tested and the trip will take at least until the next annual meeting. You will want to present your issues in an clear, unbiased manner, and if done at a Town Hall Meeting don't expect immediate results but leave all doors open and see what you come up with. Keep good records of course and maybe take your problems to the county level also.
Their seems to be a consenus here that any dissention in associations is looked upon negatively by prospective buyers. I feel to the contrary, if there is no movement in the associations there is no interest by the owners. One thing about being the opposing target is you get to learn a lot and you will make a difference. There will be no Park Benches with your name on them, but you can make a change for the better.
DaneC
(California)

Posts:210


09/04/2007 10:14 AM  
Posted By LisaS on 09/03/2007 8:36 AM
3. Our HOA maintains only 1 large common area (we are single family homes). They are specifically prohibted in our CCR's from paying to mainatin a private lot
7. Our CCR's have no method for removing a Board member(s).

Our Not for Profit HOA paid $300 in taxes this year (although we should have paid $0) due to incompetence. The list goes on.




One Associations faced with this problem have simply sold the "park" to the owners that abut it. Of course, that resolution would depend on its location. I don't know if your 1 large common area qualifies for that type of treatment. (Then the Association was dissolved.)

As far as your HOA is concerned, is would seem to be governed by
BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS
(805 ILCS 105/) General Not For Profit Corporation Act of 1986

The following two sections may be what you need -
(805 ILCS 105/108.35) (from Ch. 32, par. 108.35)
Sec. 108.35. Removal of directors.

(805 ILCS 105/Art. 12 heading)
ARTICLE 12. DISSOLUTION

Tax exemption relates to what the IRS considers "function income", i.e. assessments.
"Notprofit" DOES NOT MEAN "tax-exempt" is actually the subtitle of a publication by the CA FTB. Perhaps you may wish to browse -
http://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/misc/927.pdf


DaneC
(California)

Posts:210


09/04/2007 12:37 PM  
Posted By PaulM on 08/28/2007 2:45 PM
LisaS:
I have never heard of anyone in an HOA going to the extreme of a law suit to obtain HOA community documents.




Seems like another case surfaced today -
The Apple Valley Property Owners Association has now spent in excess of $300,000 from association dues and insurance payments in their efforts to hide financial documents from its membership and silence its critics. The association and its supporters have also used the association member newsletter and local internet forums to attack and disparage the Pullins and Elliott families, longtime residents and members of the Apple Valley Property Owners Association.

Today, Ohio's Fifth District Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed a landmark ruling issued in Pullins' favor in December 2006. The trial court had ordered that Kathryn Elliott Pullins must be reinstated to the board of directors of the Apple Valley Property Owners Association. It had also ruled that the association must provide any financial information requested, including employee salaries. It provided for a $200 per day civil fine against the association for failure to comply with this order.
http://www.pullinslaw.com/uploads/AVPOA_APPEAL_DECISION.pdf

NancyE


Posts:3


09/04/2007 3:57 PM  
Hi LisaS

Our Board of Directors refused to provide documents pertaining to the election of the Board. We gathered up a collection from "some"members" and two of our friends prepared a law suit against the Board by way of a Show Cause Court Action. The matter did not proceed to court because they provided the documents before the documents were filed with the Court house. However there were legal fees in the amount of approximately $1,300 incurred to get to the point of ready to file in court. Since the Board provided the documents, there was no need to proceed to court. The Board refused to pay our legal fees and the two friends sued the Board in Small Claims Court for the repayment of funds. There was a small trial and the Judge checked the RCW's for the State of Washington, and he granted the costs of the $1,300 to be paid by the Board to us. WE WON. I can get you more details if you wish, but this was Latitude 49 in the Whatcom county, Washington.
NancyE
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


09/04/2007 6:22 PM  
I don't know which poster mentioned something about selling the common land that abuts certain residents to them....whoever would try that in our community would definitely be conducting an illegal sale.

Not only do our governing documents not allow the sale, lease, or rent of any common area owned by "the association" (all members in deed), but the binding elements of the subdivision disallow it, too, as recorded by the Zoning and Planning and Land Use Commission.

Please be very careful when mentioning plans of action such as this. There could be enormous consequences if it isn't handled properly.

RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


09/04/2007 6:49 PM  

Michele,
I don't know who posted the blurb you are referring to, nor do I care. Please remember the folks who post here are not telling others what to do as much as defining the options for different situations. Posters should not be reckless in what they post but anything said is advice, not orders. This is a discussion forum much like a discussion at a Town Hall Meeting. Go, speak and listen but do not act except from your own conviction and personal logic. If you act solely on the advice of what is posted here, it is neither fair or just to condemn the poster here. Likewise if you take advice and collect $1,000,000, you don't have to give any of it to the one that posted such terrific advice.
SuzyS
(Arizona)

Posts:10


09/04/2007 9:56 PM  
I have experienced the same if not worse treatment with my HOA in Tucson AZ. Any issues I address at an open forum are swept under the rug and everyone on the Board makes a face like " we never heard about this before" . They refuse to writ up complete minutes and pick and choose what they want the other homeowners to know about. They screen topics. I have followed up with letters to the board members and at the last meeting I was told that all of my letters are unread and returned by the president. I could not believe what I heard from this guy who is to be representing the homeowners.

They do want any problems being noted down. They refuse to acknowledge vandalism and do not want security cameras or motion sensor security lighting. One of the Board members even installed a permanent fence that blocks our second way out of the community in case of a flood or emergency. This new board has done illegal things. They have gone in the face of the CCR's , the Plat dedication and F.E. M.A. They have blocked overland water flow and have created a haven for west nile. The town says that the Board is in charge. It sounds like they don't want to get involved.

They ignore all of these important issues and yet, to get me to back down send me letters of harassment because I have 3 birdhouses in my back yard.

I found out that my only recourse is to get an attorney and that will cost us anywhere from 10,000to 50,000 with no guarantee to what a judge would reward us. We have no financial loss only several years of aggravation and harassment.

They have ruined a very nice small community.

jd - tucson
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


09/05/2007 5:33 AM  
Suzy,
Good morning. The people posting on this site don't take defeat kindly. I would imagine that if you have read some of the topics and considered how there seems to be no end at getting to problems such as yours. It is not unusual for someone to start out contacting the BOD over some small matter and it turns into world war 3. The differences are quickly replaced with a personal issue and a power struggle with the Board. Not a fight you want to get into because over the short term, you will lose. When that happens sometimes you can spread the blame around by getting your neighbors involved. Not to serve your persopnal agenda but to make things better for everyone. I know from long years fighting the board myself, you lose some and you win some, but the price is high. Too much effort for too little gain. I was never able to organize my support but I am not rock dumb and could see when an opportunity was presented I knew enough to join a group that was able to organize some of the owners. Now, rather than duking it out with the board we have a group of folks that the board will pay attention to. One excellent method to get the word out is by a Town Hall type meeting for your neighbors. Get your support together and mutually agree on how the meeting will be conducted and what your mission is. Then start putting out flyers and working the phones, etc. Just like a political election. You, personally have to become part of the group movement. If your board is acting dictatorial, let them know they are going to have to be "open" to the members. Get that point across and just continue the effort and if necessary, replace the lot of them. It can be done and it has been done.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7663


09/05/2007 5:43 AM  
Suzy, I don't want to sound mean but I do want to play a little "Devil's advocate" of what you posted. You say that your HOA is sending you "Harrassment letters". May I ask what the difference is between sending a member a notice of a violation and harrassment? Your asking your board to send out letters or notify violating members but couldn't the member consider those letters harrassment? There's a fine line between harrassment and notification. Just because you get a notice from the HOA does NOT mean they are harrassing you. They are doing their job and acting on the behalf of other members who may have complained. Let's put the HOA letters into perspective here. Harrassment is much more serious and is dealt with the police and law. That would include threats and mulitple notices that are on a personal nature than official violation notice. Telling you to remove birdhouses or they will be removed for you is NOT harrassment. It's exactly what the HOA can do with a violation.

The security systems and components you want are a gray area for a HOA. Who do you think buys and maintains this equipment? The HOA. Who provides the budget for the HOA? You and the members with your HOA dues. If the HOA doesn't have enough money or the majority doesn't want the security system, they aren't going to install it for you. Security cameras and equipment does NOT stop crime. They just record it for later prosecution proof. Then that can be tossed out on occassion by a good lawyer.

The emergency route for exit is a great option for the HOA to have. I wish we had one. However, if it is on someone's property and it's NOT considered "common property" the owner may be able to do what they want with it. One would hope they would keep it an emergency exit but they may not have to if it's private property. Atleast the person is willing to consider freeing it up if necessary. Plus the fact that he's in a wheelchair is irrelevant. If your trying to get out in an emergency, I am sure some able body person will be there to rip the door/gate off the hinges!

You may want to reconsider your approach with your HOA. I am sorry to say, but you may be coming across as "that annoying lady with all the ridicolous complaints". It happens. Maybe back down and put a new perspective on things. Write a few less letters for a bit. Not everything has to be addressed right then and right now. The HOA system takes time to get things addressed. For example: If your HOA has meetings once a month, it could take upwards to 3-6 months for a decision to get out of the pipe line. The first meeting the idea/suggestion would come up. The next meeting the results of finding out the costs of the idea and implementing could be discussed. The next meeting after more details were hammered out, the idea may get board approval. The idea may get implemented by then. The meeting after would measure the results of the idea and show the real costs of the idea. Then of course you could have the fallout and complaints that the idea was never needed or exceeded projected costs. Now you have other meetings to discuss overthrowing the board because they made a bad decision 5 months ago. The cycle keeps going and going and going...

Former HOA President
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


09/05/2007 12:35 PM  
RobertR:

I'm completely aware of the purpose of this forum. Which is why I brought up a cautionary post as a heads up.

It seems to me that you are saying the exact same thing I was, only I used a specific example of where this would not be an option.

If you read my post, it was simply offering a cautionary note.

However, even given the nature of the board, I would still throw up an extra cautionary flag before anyone offering selling or leasing or even providing easement of common area.

People may have to did deeper than just the CC&Rs and look into local zoning restrictions for residential communities or even the original development plans, which often have binding elements on them not specifically mentioned in CC&Rs.

My response stands as a heads up.
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


09/05/2007 12:47 PM  
Melissa said: "They are doing their job and acting on the behalf of other members who may have complained. "


If they are, then it appears, according to the poster, as "selective enforcement," which is also another way that BODs have to reign in obnoxious members.

Although I would love to see a CC&R that outlaws birdhouses, much less 3 of them.

But that's really beside the point. This person is frustrated because the board isn't listening, not acting on things she believes it should act on and ignoring other potentially hazardous issues.

I question the blocking of the emergency exit. I don't know that we can necessarily infer that the person who put up the fence did so legally, even if it is his own property. If there has been an egress designated as an emergency route, then how can it cross private property?

I'm very curious as to what sort of emergency egress it was that a private resident could block it from his own property.

Suzy, can you shed some light on that?

And I know all about the "obnoxious complaining member" as we have one or two of our own. However, we STILL reply to each and every concern, regardless of how tedious it is.

Most recently she sent a letter talking about people putting trash out for pick up in garbage bags. There are only about 3 people in the subdivision that do this and all of them are tied. Our CC&Rs do not prohibit them, so we have no restriction against people using them. Even so, she personally doesn't like them and wants them outlawed.

We provided her with the procedure for getting an amendment change and the ball is in her court.

Many times if BODs would just respond to a complaint, regardless of how annoying, the person will at least feel they have been listened to and they don't have to get into a tit-for-tat struggle.

LisaS
(Illinois)

Posts:341


09/05/2007 2:40 PM  
First Melissa, I was on the Board. As a matter of fact, I was on our first Board and I basically set up the systems that got us off the ground. I am now a Director on a regional HOA Board and even there no one has seen a Board go to so much trouble to avoid complying with the law.

I am all for not having a management company when you only have 300 singles family houses to manage. It's easy (or it should be...)I am also not for hiring an 'HOA attorney' to be on call. I was just answering some of the questions posed to me.

My point was, the law and our CCR's state that the documents I requested be made available. It is very simple and clear. Our Board has refused,in violation of both. Why? If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to hide.

And, if you have something to hide and you screwed up, take responsibility. Like you said, it's not THEIR personal money it's OUR money. Our HOA paid taxes and they should not have (I am familiar with the applicable tax law). That's just one $300 mistake. The liability issues on some other items could lead to huge problems.



FredG3
(Illinois)

Posts:6


01/06/2018 12:23 PM  
Hello HOA , I am in sorta in the same situation and from Illinois I am in a Townhouse , Not for Profit Corporation , and very limited room to work with the HOA. I have requested per the By Laws of the association specific dates of the minutes. I have sent letter with a copy of the By law stating "The Books , records and papers of the Association shall at all times , during Business hours be subject to inspection by any member. I am trying to get to view these documents, during the day business hours , and have seen Board members home during the day hours . They have asked many to submit from the dates and times I was available to view , for several months with over 30 plus refusals.

The Board finally came back deciding that attend a Board meeting to view these documents , but the day hours are what I can view them at , and the By Laws are clear and un- blurred and followed exactly there format per bylaws .

Any thoughts or input ?
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5749


01/06/2018 12:55 PM  
Please start a new thread. This one is way too old. When yoou do, can you make it clearer if it's only the open meting minutes you've requested? Or something else, too.?
JudyM9
(Arizona)

Posts:39


01/06/2018 4:22 PM  
Our community gets sued fairly frequently over refusing to comply with a document request. The homeowner almost always wins. In Arizona, you file in Administrative court for $500. HOA reimburses the homeowner when the homeowner wins.

Our Boards (yes, more than one) continue to choose spending money on attorneys and reimbursement fees over just providing the documents.

http://www.azre.gov/HOA/HOA.aspx

GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2430


01/06/2018 5:46 PM  
Please start a new thread since the first 44 posts in this one were made over 10 years ago.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3054


01/06/2018 6:14 PM  
Ahhh..keep it open. I love the stupid comments from Melissa from 10 years ago. Seems nothing has changed.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2430


01/06/2018 8:26 PM  
That part did make me smile too.
AugustinD


Posts:1121


01/07/2018 6:19 AM  
Posted By JudyM9 on 01/06/2018 4:22 PM
Our community gets sued fairly frequently over refusing to comply with a document request. The homeowner almost always wins. In Arizona, you file in Administrative court for $500. HOA reimburses the homeowner when the homeowner wins. Our Boards (yes, more than one) continue to choose spending money on attorneys and reimbursement fees over just providing the documents.
http://www.azre.gov/HOA/HOA.aspx


Good for Arizona for having a fairly mechanical process in place for this. This problem of HOAs denying legitimate records requests is so common that I think HOA Members should just submit a letter of demand; state the HOA has 7 days to set a time up in the next two weeks for the records reviews; and then the Member should file pro se in small claims court or magistrate court.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3054


01/07/2018 8:51 AM  
I had a case where a homeowner, who at one time was the VP of the Board, file a small court action against his association for failure to allow them to "inspect and copy" enhanced records of the association. The harassment went on for 1 1/2 years and he lost the case and appeal. From my experience, it may be necessary to file such action when certain parties want to play hardball.

I had to file a small claims action for my client against their former management company for failure to turn over their records and files. The case is scheduled for March 2018. We went for the maximum of $5000.00.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:531


01/07/2018 1:37 PM  
I agree with Jane, have an attorney send a letter before filing suit. She also mentioned that in California it can be referred to the state attorney general. I assume HOAs are in Illinois are required to turn over documents to members. If they are breaking the law then you may be able to get a state or local agency involved.
FredG3
(Illinois)

Posts:6


01/08/2018 10:37 AM  
Kerry , no I haven't sued the HOA , and maybe to broaden my details , yes this is for open meeting minutes that I have requested . The meetings are in the evening and most of the time I am unable to attend anyway . I spoke with a Board members that resigned prematurely saying its sort of a circus , which doesn't help my cause , and I also had an experience with one that requested he be removed for his unacceptable behavior .May give you some insight on the situation.

The Bylaws are clear stating " shall at all times, during reasonable business hours , be subject to inspection by any member" , which I thought Business hours were between 9:00 am and 5:00pm was during the day ? They have now offered me the opportunity during a Board meeting in the evening , and its not fitting my schedule , additionally I offered a email address for electronic transmission and over 30 days and times during business hours , in letters.

So the sticking points here are * time frame - Business Hours - to view documents under , * opposed to more modern methods of viewing electronically documents , newsletters , and voting .

As a note I have seen Board members during the day being available thru 2017 and have called them out on that also.

This is defined as a ~ Association an Illinois not for - profit corporation , its successors and assigns ~ . The association is around 40 units. My research bounce this over to 805 ILCS 105 , Illinois.

Any constructive thoughts or feedback would appreciated to a remedy to this.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5749


01/08/2018 11:38 AM  
I think Ben gives good advice. Spend a few bucks to have an attorney write a letter of demand to the board and have it sent certified mail to whomever is h Board's "agent." Might be the prez in your case. Don't know. The attorney need cite only your bylaws an IL laws on the matter
DouglasM6
(Arizona)

Posts:724


01/08/2018 2:10 PM  
Ben does give good advice. Only, he's agreeing in 2018 to a post in 2007.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5749


01/08/2018 4:16 PM  
Ben's agreeing with a writer from 2007, but is responding to the poster from. Still, a new thread would've been so much better.
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Have you sued your HOA to get Documents?



Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!



News Articles Provided by: Community Associations Network
News, articles and blogs about condos/HOA's

Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.







General Legal Notice:  The content of forum messages are from the posting member and have not been reviewed nor endorsed by HOATalk.com.  Messages posted by HOATalk or other members are for informational purposes only, are not legal or professional advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  HOATalk is not a licensed attorney, CPA, tax advisor, financial advisor or any other licensed professional.  HOATalk accepts ads from sponsors but does not verify sponsor qualifications nor endorse/guarantee any sponsor's product or service.
HindmanSanchez Legal Notice:  (For messages posted by HindmanSanchez) This message has been prepared by HindmanSanchez for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Members of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send us confidential information unless you speak with one of our attorneys and get authorization to send that information to us. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in our firm. Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in the state of Colorado only.

Legal Notice For Messages Posted by Sponsoring Attorneys: This message has been prepared by the sponsoring attorney for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send any sponsoring attorney confidential information unless you speak with the sponsoring attorney or an attorney from the sponsoring attorney’s firm and get authorization to send that information to them. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in the firm of the sponsoring attorney. Sponsoring attorneys that post messages here are licensed to practice law in a specific state or states as indicated in their message signature or sponsor’s profile page. (NOTE: A ‘sponsoring attorney’ is an attorney that is a HOATalk.com official sponsor and is identified as such in the posted message or on our sponsor page.)

Copyright HOA Talk.com, A Service of Community123 LLC ( Homeowners Association Discussions )   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement